Assessing Pain In Specialty Populations

Thiere are some patient populations that are very difficult to assess: children, older adults, and patients with a history of substance abuse. These patients have special needs and understanding when it comes to assessing pain, and there are some tools and concepts that are helpful for these groups of patients.

Assessing Pain in Older Adults

Older patients have experienced pain before. They have any number of chronic pain conditions and comorbidities that can make selecting pain medication difficult. The older patient is reluctant to be seen as a com-plainer, and they may fear adding costly medications for pain to their already crowded medication regimen (D'Arcy, 2007, 2010b).

To get a good pain assessment in older patients, make sure that any assistive devices, such as glasses and hearing aids, are in place. Convey to the patients that you have an interest in their pain and would like to help relieve the pain. Educate the patients about pain assessment. Help them to understand that a good pain assessment is the best way to determine what medications and interventions could be helpful for pain relief. Include the family when it is appropriate.

Behavioral Pain Scale (Nonverbal) for Patients Unable to

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